Propane Generators vs Gas Generators – who wins the battle?


This is an on-going debate for years – between those who prefer propane generators and those for gas generators. Which is better? The truth is – both have their pros and cons.

The advantages and disadvantages of Propane Generators

Pros: So, why might you go with propane? For one, propane’s power energy source is a clean burning fuel. It is easy to store and transport. Since propane is kept in a pressurized and sealed container, it has a long storage life.

Con: You should be aware that propane has less heat content per gallon than gasoline, so a generator running on LPG will typically be rated for a lower output than that same generator running on gasoline.


Here is an example comparing the output power of a gallon of propane vs. a gallon of gasoline:

  • One gallon of propane has 91,502 BTUs
  • One gallon of gasoline has 116,090 BTUs

Verdict: Propane is reliable and it provides reasonably clean power. You can purchase a tank of propane from many gas stations, Home Depot, Lowes or U-Haul and other hardware stores. Propane is an environmentally friendly option.

The advantages and disadvantages of Gas Generators

Pros: It absolutely provides more power output than propane. Another plus – you can buy gasoline conveniently at a gas station, and it’s often cheaper than propane.


Did you know –

There are 6,500 Gas Stations (with convenient stores) in California, almost 6,000 in Florida, and about 10,000 in Texas!

Con: It does not burn as clean as propane. Natural gas produces 50% more carbon dioxide than propane.

Verdict: Gas is readily available and just as reliable as propane, though you’re going to trade out the clean-burning fuel for something that’s less friendly to the environment. Gas has a higher rated power output, and you can get this type of fuel easily.

 Tip:  If you are using your gas generator infrequently, it is common that either the gasoline in the tank “goes bad” (chemically changes) or that the gasoline in the carburetor mostly evaporates, leaving behind a gummy sludge. You should consider:

  • Adding a fuel stabilizer to the gasoline tank to extend the life of the gasoline and,
  • Run the carburetor dry of gasoline when you shut the generator down.

Dual fuel – propane and gas, all in one.

Can you have the best of both worlds? Yes, you certainly can with a dual-fuel generator.

As the name implies, a dual-fuel generator runs on two different fuels. Most commonly, it runs on both gasoline and LPG (propane). You can choose either one of these two fuel types, whichever that’s available to you.

So, when you are seeking a power supply to help you get through a power outage, a great choice might actually be a dual-fuel generator. It gives you the options to choose the fuel type based on availability.

It’s a peace of mind that comes with the ability to choose the power source that best fits your needs.